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A rapid decrease in temperature induces latewood formation in artificially reactivated cambium of conifer stems

Begum, Shahanara, Nakaba, Satoshi, Yamagishi, Yusuke, Yamane, Kenichi, Islam, Md. Azharul, Oribe, Yuichiro, Ko, Jae-Heung, Jin, Hyun-O, Funada, Ryo
Annals of botany 2012 v.110 no.4 pp. 875-885
Abies firma, Cryptomeria japonica, adults, cambium, cell division, cell walls, conifers, growing season, heat, image analysis, latewood, seedlings, stems, temperature, tracheids, trees, wood
Background and Aims Latewood formation in conifers occurs during the later part of the growing season, when the cell division activity of the cambium declines. Changes in temperature might be important for wood formation in trees. Therefore, the effects of a rapid decrease in temperature on cellular morphology of tracheids were investigated in localized heating-induced cambial reactivation in Cryptomeria japonica trees and in Abies firma seedlings. Methods Electric heating tape and heating ribbon were wrapped on the stems of C. japonica trees and A. firma seedlings. Heating was discontinued when 11 or 12 and eight or nine radial files of differentiating and differentiated tracheids had been produced in C. japonica and A. firma stems, respectively. Tracheid diameter, cell wall thickness, percentage of cell wall area and percentage of lumen area were determined by image analysis of transverse sections and scanning electron microscopy. Key Results Localized heating induced earlier cambial reactivation and xylem differentiation in stems of C. japonica and A. firma as compared with non-heated stems. One week after cessation of heating, there were no obvious changes in the dimensions of the differentiating tracheids in the samples from adult C. japonica. In contrast, tracheids with a smaller diameter were observed in A. firma seedlings after 1 week of cessation of heating. Two or three weeks after cessation of heating, tracheids with reduced diameters and thickened cell walls were found. The results showed that the rapid decrease in temperature produced slender tracheids with obvious thickening of cell walls that resembled latewood cells. Conclusions The results suggest that a localized decrease in temperature of stems induces changes in the diameter and cell wall thickness of differentiating tracheids, indicating that cambium and its derivatives can respond directly to changes in temperature.